Smith on winning roll with titles

By Doug Laing


Shearing

Hastings shearer Rowland Smith was the man of the moment as he won two weekend championships and stood in at the last minute for unavailable Southland shearer Nathan Stratford.

New Zealand beat Wales in the first test of the three-test Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series.

Recently married to fellow former record-breaking shearer Ingrid Baynes, 2011 New Zealand open champion and national team member Smith won the Horowhenua A and P Open title after returning from his honeymoon.

He made it three in a row by winning Saturday's Taihape show open final, and Sunday's Agrodome Shears title at the Rotorua A and P Show at Ngongotaha.

It was at the Rotorua show that he and reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand champion John Kirkpatrick made up an all-Hawke's Bay team which beat touring Welsh shearers Gareth Lloyd Evans and Richard Jones, from the Denbighshire town of Bylchau and Corwen respectively.

Smith was first to finish the 12 sheep, taking 10m 38.8s, almost 20s quicker than his team-mate, with the first of the Welsh taking 11m 55.1s, enabling the Kiwis to win by more than 13 points.

Smith's brother, Matthew, was runner-up in the open final at Rotorua, and brother-in-law Lachie Baynes, of Wairoa, won the senior final.

A feature of the Rotorua show was the appearance of two Hastings-based French shearers in lower-grade finals, with Loic Leygonie fourth in the intermediate class, won by the in-form David Gordon, of Masterton, and in the junior final, Thibaut Negre was fifth behind winner Marshall Guy, of Kaeo.

Te Awamutu woolhandler Keryn Herbert also made it three in a row, having won the national crossbred lambs woolhandling title in Southland last week.

She won on Saturday at Taihape and on Sunday at Rotorua, claiming a trophy she had presented for the event.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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